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Honeysuckle Cottage B&B
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Changes coming to the SAORI Salt Spring Studio!

As of November this year, my teaching studio will be moved into Honeysuckle Cottage! This means there will be more space for weaving, a sewing room, a bathroom and full kitchen. We will still be in the woods, with a beautiful deck to enjoy.

Honeysuckle Cottage B&B

Honeysuckle Cottage – soon to be the SAORI Salt Spring Studio space

The current studio space on the property will be converted into a SAORI “store” where you will find an array of warps, yarns, books, equipment and woven items for sale on display. You’ll also be able to try out the “specialty” looms in the store including the WX90 (a 36” SAORI loom), a 4-harness loom and the Piccolo loom.

For those coming on retreat (which of course I will still be hosting) there is a B&B next door to us at Bloom Organic (at the Blue Horse Gallery) with 2 different suites available. The neighbour on the other side is Bird’s Hill Cottage and their B&B will accommodate up to 5 people. Both are a short walk from the studio, so you’ll still be able to wander over to the studio anytime. As with all my retreats the studio will be open early and late (8 am  to 8 pm) for extra weaving time.

Other accommodations in the area include Angel Cottage, Magnolia Petal, Quarrystone Inn, Soul Reflection B&B and many more. You can also find many listings and availability on the accommodations website at www.saltspringaccommodation.ca.

I’m looking forward to this new adventure and to seeing you here on the island!

 

To book a workshop or retreat, please have a look at my calendar here and information on classes and retreats.

(See my entire Autumn 2018 newsletter here).

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Artist-in-Residence (March 2018)

I had been to Terri’s SAORI studio in the woods on three separate occasions before this trip and I thought this would just be a longer version of those experiences. I didn’t realize that this Artist In Residency was going to be different in so many ways. It turned out to be not only the creative experience I was craving, but also an emotional and spiritual experience as well.

Studio in the woods

I promised myself that I would not have any goals or pre-meditated outcomes and that I would just “go with the flow”. I was committed to just living in the moment, and allowing myself to weave what was inspiring me, which ended up being about weaving the landscape of the island.

Artist in Residence, Salt Spring weaving

Terri and I usually met in the studio in the mornings – and I would ask for guidance with different techniques I was interested in learning as well as feeling more comfortable with Kenzo’s table top warping technique.

Judy Sysak, Kenzo's warping method

Terri is so wonderful at just allowing things to bubble to the surface and she was there to help with whatever I asked. I ended up weaving the landscape of the island, working in colours that I generally am not drawn to in shades of the sky/trees/rocky beaches; greens/blues/steel greys and brown hues.

Salt Spring Landscape

I napped and walked in the afternoon, or I went to town and strolled through the shops and art galleries. In the evenings I wove on a loom Terri had put in my room – that had a a white warp with large gaps in the threading. Some evenings, I would pad over to the studio and weave or I would flip through her pattern books until I was ready for bed. I found myself re-reading the Self Innovation Through Free Weaving (The Purple Book) and specifically the parts about Misao Jo’s journey into SAORI weaving and how she intuitively just let her weaving unfold. It reminded me that SAORI is about weaving to find our true selves and we end up with a unique and personal piece of weaving as a bonus at the end. With the passing of Misao Jo in January – these words felt even more poignant and profound.

Like many women I know, I have struggled with perfectionism and the need to be “striving”. If I’m not working towards a goal, then what is the point? These thoughts still end up being front and centre when I am starting my weaving. I think “what is this going to be?”, “will I ever even wear this colour?”, “what if it’s ugly and I’ve wasted all those materials?”. These thoughts can paralyze my creative spirit. This week was all about accepting that I didn’t need to have any answers to those questions – and that I could just let go and weave what I was feeling without worrying about the end product. This proved to be surprisingly uncomfortable at times, but in the end I was able to find a flow and joy in my weaving and I ended up loving, and feeling connected to the finished cloth.

SAORI Weaving

Another gift of the week was Lynn Jones coming to spend the day with us on Monday. She has been SAORI weaving for almost a decade and she loves the process of sewing her woven pieces into clothing, and helping others “see” their cloth in the light of “what does it want to be”? She brought a suitcase stuffed full of her SAORI woven clothing pieces and I excitedly tried on each one, loving each one even more than the one before. It was so inspirational! We spent the afternoon draping samples of woven cloth I had brought with me in ways I had never thought of or envisioned. Terri & Lynn together are a force! All of a sudden, I just wanted to sew, and for anyone who knows me, I never thought I would ever say those words! I made a short top and two vests while I was there and I love them all. I even wore one to a meeting in downtown Calgary last week which was a huge leap for me! I have a new confidence as well as an exciting and fresh perspective regarding my woven cloth.

copper patina

We closed up my week with a SAORI Kai at Poppet Creative, Terri’s satellite studio in Victoria. I was able to meet all the lovely SAORI weavers that make up this community, and it was such a treat to not only share my work, but to see what other people have been weaving and making with their cloth as well. I loved being a part of such a welcoming group, even if it was just for the day.

clothing design at Poppet Creative, Victoria

In closing, the Artist in Residence experience was about a lot of things. It was about embracing alone time, sipping almond milk chai lattes on the beach,

Fernwood Dock, Salt Spring Island

discovering coconut milk yogurt (so yummy!) and having long uninterrupted naps without laundry, grocery lists or voicemails that needed to be returned. But it also opened up my creative spirit to the question “what if”?. What if I added locks? What if I left a big space on this row? What if I added a completely different colour than I’m currently using? What if I let the edges go loose and create loops?

Lorries Locks

Going into the AIR, I still had so much fear of making a mistake. Then something shifted and I came away with the realization that so many possibilities open up when I just allow myself to ask “what if”? And not just in weaving!

A sincere thank you to Terri, who opens up her studio and her heart to make these retreats possible. I feel so grateful that she and her SAORI teachings have made their way into my life and my heart.

Judy Sysak
Artist in Residence, SAORI Salt Spring
March 3-11, 2018

Fulford Harbour

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Artist in Residence (AiR) – Fall 2016

Lynn Jones – reflections on her Artist in Residency at SAORI Salt Spring – Fall 2016
I was delighted to be the Artist in Residence at SAORI Salt Spring for 3 1/2 days this month. The deciding factor for me was ‘weaving on Salt Spring Island without distraction’! I have a very full life at home. Both of my sons are living with me right now, my hubby, Bob and my (getting very old and grumpy) dog, Wilma. Though I have a ‘studio space’, it is shared. With musical instruments and a family computer and lately, some silver smithing / jewelry making tools. I love the busyness of it all, but it does impede the creative process for me. One thing that I took away from my time on SSI is that I’m best really early in the morning. Always knew that, but never really put it to creative use. So, from this time forward and forever more, I will use the time from waking til 9:00 am to be creative, alone, with my cloth and my babe (draping, shaping, cutting and sewing). I can weave with everyone around, but I can’t improvise with my cloth unless I have some peace and quiet. So, I had time to create…2 pieces I’d woven earlier. A jacket in blues with blue jean sleeves and a tunic woven with fabric from some thrift store finds.

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img_0570-e1479166785661-450x600The other amazing experience I had with Terri was the time to collaborate on a weaving. I had ‘scored’ some thrift store silk. 75% off beautiful blue, green, pale yellow, mustard and white silk threads! This was our inspiration.

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Though I had a plan for the weaving, it became something completely other! SAORI philosophy tells us to listen to the cloth, not to plan ahead of time, to weave ourselves. So, the plan I had will materialize on some other visit. What Terri and I created was a kelp bed, unintentionally of course . The whole weaving was shared…every piece that went into it, every idea, all the threads. As Terri so beautifully put it, there were no egos. We threw ideas back and forth. We have so many more ideas to put into our future weavings!

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It was just as much fun weaving as it was photographing the experience. We had to keep reminding each other to take pictures….. And sometimes we just got silly!

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I had time to create in the cottage.

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To cook for Terri and Alan. To sip wine and listen to music. Carole King’s Tapestry was my go to cd. How appropriate!!!
I am so very grateful for the experience of being the AiR. Looking forward to annual WOWWWs (weeks of weaving, wondering and wandering) and whatever else comes from my journey into SAORI weaving and it’s never ending possibilities.

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I read this quote from Misao one morning:
“I am often asked, “What did you do before you started weaving? You must not have been just an ordinary housewife.” Well, when I was twenty five years old, I had a profound experience that opened my eyes. Some would call it a revelation sent by a Supreme Being. Anyway, it turned out to be my work for the rest of my life. In my pursuit of this, I have always been aware that some great, invisible power is within me. Looking back, I see that each small incident I experienced as an ordinary house-wife (mother, sister, banker for me) led me to this path. All the experiences in the past were preparation for what I am now doing. Simply put, everything was leading me to comprehend that kansei (the significance of an intuitive sense of beauty existing inside of us.) is inherent in everyone.”
How appropriate for me to read this while being the AiR.

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I had a great time with Lynn. It was fabulous to collaborate and explore together – so many ideas!
Happy Weaving,
Terri
Next Artist-in-Residence: February 2017 application info tba
My website: www.saorisaltspring.com
Or you can find me more often on Facebook or Instagram.

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Exploring 3D SAORI weaving

Well, it has been a while since I’ve written. Many things have been happening over this summer and there are pictures on my Facebook page and also on Instagram if you haven’t been following along.

We recently finished 10 full and fantastic days with Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys (watch the great video at this link for a view of the trip) here on Salt Spring Island…

Loom Dancer 2016

A great group of enthusiastic women. I always come away from these events with ideas popping! So, after getting much of my studio set up again it was time to try one of them out. I chose bobbins that were left from the retreat – so there is a feeling of that gathering in this piece.

At the retreat, some people were exploring the cool cross and weaving a circle, and I had an idea to try a loop weaving and so I started my exploration into this 3D method that I was imagining…

loop-top 3D weaving

Front…

loop-top 3D weaving

Back…

loop-top 3D weaving

Looks kind of crazy, but it worked as I had hoped and imagined it would. Two panels of weaving joined with loops.

loop-top 3D weaving

It has become a no-sew top! Some of the loops go over the shoulder as straps and others are the sides. The weaving itself is the front and the back of the top. So fun!

loop-top 3D weaving

loop-top 3D weaving

loop-top 3D weaving

Always something new to try when there is so much inspiration.

Happy Weaving,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

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Artist-in-Residence – Spring 2016

Earlier this month I was so happy to host Stacey Piwinski as the Artist-in-Residence at SAORI Salt Spring. When we were setting up the residency, Stacey requested that we go to Pacifica Paddle at the beginning rather than at the end of the residency. She wanted to meet others in this SAORI community and see how that may influence her work during the week at the studio. “We learn from each other”

pacifica-loooms

So, we set up weekend workshops and a SAORI Kai. I had a lot of feedback from people after about how much they were inspired by her presentation of her work and her process. One piece that she shared with us was something she had worked on over the period of two years. She wove a piece each month that reflected her life over that month. The following year in the same month she did more work on that same piece.

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We shared with her some of our weavings and clothing design, wall hangings and pieces of cloth. It was all a wonderful start to the residency.

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As Stacey was here, she wrote a blog post for every day – documenting the weaving, meetings with people, conversations, places we visited on the island. If you haven’t already seen them, these posts are well worth a read. Lots of photos too!

Day 1 – Pacifica Paddle – “Weaving, Water & Butterflies
Day 2 – SAORI Kai – “SAORI Sunday” – Part 1 & Part 2
Day 3 – SAORI Salt Spring – “Tall Trees and Green Moss
Day 4 – SAORI Salt Spring – “Delightful
Day 5 – SAORI Salt Spring – “Wednesday Already
Day 6 – SAORI Salt Spring – “Kan Ryoku is Sprouting Up
Day 7 – SAORI Salt Spring – “West Coast Dream Squid
Day 8 – Victoria – “Headed Home

Stacey worked on different pieces while she was here including one she called “Little Terri” – this piece incorporated a collection of items that I had given her at the beginning of the week. It was jewelry of mine, collected over years, that I didn’t wear anymore.

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…a mobius (note that there is no fringe!)

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… and a squid vest

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squid vest

She brought me one of her works – that incorporates painting and weaving and it now hangs next to my SAORI Calendar in the studio.

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We enjoyed the days, the visitors to the studio and the island…the days went by way too quickly!

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Until next time…

Mt. Maxwell

Happy Weaving,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com, see some updates on my Gallery page here.

Or you can find me more often on Facebook or Instagram.

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Artist-in-Residence – Spring 2016

 

I am pleased to announce the next Artist-in-Residence at SAORI Salt Spring. And I want to thank all the others that applied…the decision was not an easy one!

March 2016 Artist-in-Residence – Stacey Piwinski, MFA of Massachusetts

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I have met some of her connections to SAORI – Mihoko Wakabayashi of SAORI Worcester and Bobbie Herron – and I look forward to meeting her soon.

She will be here in March and coming to the workshop days and SAORI Kai at Pacifica Paddle on March 12 & 13.

She says:

I would like to continue my abstract woven portraiture work, but this time instead of working with friends, I would be making new friends in new places. I have no idea where this new work will take me, but I am excited, a little scared, and willing to find out my getting my hands in an allowing the loom to make those soothing clicking sounds and guide the conversations and the fabric row by row.

Artist-in-Residence

Two Years

Artist-in-Residence

Two Years (detail)

Her Artist’s Statement for an upcoming show:

Although her work speaks to painterly concerns, Stacey Piwinski (CFA’99,’00) uses textiles and found materials to create intricate weavings that consider the passage of time, the tactility of material, and interpersonal relationships. In her fabric scrolls and mixed media works, Piwinski carefully re-contextualizes objects that have personal significance or simply have been left behind. In these material and personal explorations of memory, Piwinski allows the objects to weave together new meanings and to tell new stories.

The show:
Sherman Gallery, Boston University Art Galleries
Stacey Piwinski: It’s not you, it’s me
January 22 – March 4, 2016

September 20, 1911

September 20, 1911

About Stacey
Stacey received her BFA in painting in 1999, her MFA in studio teaching in 2000 from Boston University, and most recently her MFA in visual arts from Lesley University in January 2014. Stacey participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Teaching Program in 2005 and was inspired by Japanese textiles, specifically Saori Weaving. As an arts educator in the Wellesley Public Schools, she has facilitated community-weaving projects as a way of connecting individuals. Weaving as a metaphor for bringing people together is a thread that runs through all of her work.

You can see more of her work here.

I’m looking forward to her SAORI explorations here at SAORI Salt Spring. I hope that many of you can join us for a SAORI Kai on March 13!

Happy Weaving,
Terri
My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

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SAORI Clothing Design – A vest conversion

Two years ago I made a long, simple vest out of some fabric that I had woven. The vest was 3 strips of fabric sewn together with spaces left for the armholes and slits left in the bottom section. It could be worn two ways and I wrote about it here.

Here it is flat:

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And here was the finished piece:

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I liked it a lot … BUT I didn’t wear it.

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One day a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea. Inspired by Lynn’s Squid family, it occurred to me that the fabric could easily be made into a squid tunic / dress. All I had to do was sew up the seams completely, where I had left them open. Fold it, with one corner at the top – sew it up and cut a couple of new armholes.

And, ta da, it became a squid 🙂 that can be worn either way – the cowl at the front and it looks like a dress…

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The cowl at the back, which becomes a collar and then it looks more like a tunic…

Details…

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AND now I’ve been wearing it a LOT!

It’s good to listen to the cloth…

Happy Weaving,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

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PS…I’m posting much more often on my Facebook page and Instagram account, so you can keep up with happenings there. Or you can join my mailing list here.

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Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys – August 2015

What an amazing two weeks!

It started with Karen coming early to spend some time on retreat and learning more about SAORI weaving and assisting with preparation for the workshops.

The first day is a tour of Salt Spring Island – my studio, Ewetopia Farm, the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill and then Seaside Kitchen for lunch.

Ewetopia Farm

Gulf Islands Spinning Mill

Then it’s off to the wineries, the brewery, Salt Spring Cheese, the Bread Lady, etc. for a real ‘Taste of Salt Spring’.

On Friday, the weaving began … it continued right through until Monday afternoon with a break on Saturday for a visit to the Salt Spring Saturday Market.

The people, the weaving, the enthusiasm and creativity of both groups was outstanding. Definitely one of the highlights of my year!

Both tours were sold out with 10 people in each, plus Cari & Karen, so we had full studios…

The studio at Harbour House

The studio at Mineral Springs Resort

On the final day, Lynn Jones came over to share some of her clothing designs. A fashion show gave new inspiration as we also demoed how to create the origami-style clothes.

 

We looked at patterns from the books. Kenzo-san always says the writing may be Japanese, but the pictures are in English 🙂 So we took some examples and did paper folding to help understand how the cloth is folded, cut and sewn.

 

The finales were spectacular!

August 5- 11 at Harbour House

August 12-18 at Mineral Springs Spa

Thanks to each person who came. Please keep in touch – I’d love to see where SAORI takes you. A special thanks to Cari for her vision and organization. Many of the people have been on other tours with Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys and I can certainly see why. And thanks again to Karen and Lynn for all of their help at the workshop.

Cari Malver, Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys

Note: Many photos of the weaving can be found on my Facebook page and Instagram account

Happy Weaving,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

And thanks to Rufus – the Loom Dancer mascot 🙂

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Artist in Residence (AiR) – Earth Loom

At the beginning of the month, in starting my Artist in Residence, I decided it was time to renew my Earth Loom. On the night of the full moon, I went out and threaded up the loom…

 

Over the next few days, I started to add to it. Yarn, roving and found objects – all things that are biodegradable…

 

The loom is set at the entrance to our driveway turnaround – one part goes off to the cottage, another to the studio…

 

Over the next months, I will continue to add to the weaving and invite others to as well.

Happy Weaving,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

PS – Credit for the idea of my Earth Loom goes to Susan Barrett Merrill. My earth loom was built in 2009 by my cousin and I thank Tony for that! Other posts about it can be found here.

And now for something completely different …

So, after returning from a New Zealand springtime and the richness of the blues and greens and so inspired by so many beautiful places, I went to my studio to weave. There on the loom was an autumn coloured warp that I had made before I left.

 

Surprisingly, it called to me and I ended up weaving in totally different colours for me…

 

 

I thought I’d make a mobius scarf – and so wove the ends in to make the loop…

 

And finished weaving (still need to finish the ends and wash it)…

 

Also, yesterday – 3 huge boxes arrived from Japan with my long-awaited yarn sets. I’m working on uploading them into my Etsy shop. Beautiful colours – here is the blue-green one 🙂

 

And today, Christmas Eve, we went for a walk in the woods – it was a warm, sunny day.

 

Happy Weaving & Happy Holidays to all,
Terri

My website: www.saorisaltspring.com

More photos on Instagram